Odisha Proposes Direct Connectivity To 4 Overseas Destinations, Bhubaneswar-Prayagraj Flight From July 1

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday proposed introduction of direct overseas flights from Bhubaneswar.

Talking to mediapersons after a high-level meeting with the officials of the 21 airlines and five CEOs presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Lok Seva Bhawan here, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said the state government discussed the agenda with the airlines on the launch of direct overseas flights – Bhubaneswar-Bangkok, Bangkok-Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar-Singapore and Bhubaneswar-Abu Dhabi or Bhubaneswar-Dubai.

There is a demand for potential international hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Colombo, the Chief Minister told the meeting.

“To resume the flight operations to these countries, the state government will frame a specific policy after interacting with the airlines concerned on the mode of collaboration they want with us” Tripathy added.

The government also discussed another agenda on the intra-state and inter-state air connectivity from the three existing airstrips in Jeypore (Koraput), Rourkela (Sundargarh) and Utkela (Kalahandi) to Bhubaneswar and other states including the north-eastern states under the UDAN  (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme, he said.

The Chief Minister also requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to introduce new connectivity from  Odisha to domestic destinations like Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Vizag, Kochi and Ranchi, he added.

The Chief Secretary further said the state government informed the airlines that it will provide aviation fuel with 1 per cent VAT for all domestic flights where there will be no VAT on aviation fuel for overseas flights.

The meeting also revealed the launch of the following inter-state flights from Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda this year.

Kolkata-Jharsuguda – January 24 (Alliance Air)
Jharsuguda-Kolkata – January 27 (Alliance Air)
Bhubaneswar-Varanasi – January 31 (Alliance Air)
Varanasi-Bhubaneswar – February 29 (IndiGo)
Prayagraj-Bhubaneswar- July 1
Jharsuguda-Mumbai- Winter Schedule (SpiceJet)
New Delhi-Bhubaneswar – Summer Schedule (AirAsia)
Bhubaneswar-Kalaikunda (West Bengal) – Summer Schedule (Alliance Air)

In total, 14 new flights were planned to/from Odisha at the meeting. Most of the flights are scheduled to operate between January and Summer 2020.

Among others, Union Civil Aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola and joint secretary Usha Padhee, chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI) Arvind  Singh and Commerce and Transport minister Padmanabha Behera were present.

.Kharola said there has been only 17 per cent growth in aviation nationally, while Bhubaneswar has seen 29 per cent cumulative growth.

Padhee made a presentation on UDAN scheme and said Bhubaneswar will be provided viability gap funding under the scheme. She also highlighted the efforts to improve the different airstrips of Odisha.

Secretary Commerce and Transport Pramod Meherda, Industry Secretary Hemanta Sharma, Sports, Tourism Principal Secretary Vishal Deb also made presentation on the potentials of their respective departments.

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